Wolf Center

So much is lost in translation — that’s why learning from a live animal teaches us more.  The tilt of a head, flick of an ear, a silent gaze from a wolf’s eyes; these tell a story that can’t be captured in words.

wolf-enclosureMost people in our region don’t have access to this kind of education, even though Southern Vermont was historically home to at least one species of wolf.  However, the cultural remnants of human interaction with wolves is with us every day in books, movies, folktales, art, and music.

Wolfgard Northeast’s wolf center would provide the public a chance to see wolves in-person — captive ambassadors for wild wolves.  No matter what the equation, high-impact education is a quintessential factor to seeing keystone predators like wolves return to the Northeast.

Want to help us make a home for ambassador wolves? Support us!  Volunteer!  Share our news with your friends!

As more news on the wolf center develops, there will be opportunities to hear about the project in a number of different forums.  Keep an eye out here or on our Facebook page for the latest updates. 

Look at some of our Frequently Asked Questions below for more information on this project:

Wolfgard’s wolf center will be a place where the public can visit and learn about wolves by seeing them in-person.  This is particularly important education; live animals teach in a way that videos, programs, and stories never can.  The evidence in this can seen all across the country with the success and impact of organizations that provide live-animal programs.

Our wolf center will house captive wolves.  These wolves will never be released into the wild, but will instead be “ambassadors” to wild wolves, furthering the success of wild wolf recovery in North America through education.  While the center will be open to the public, it is also the wolves’ home.  Their home will be large enough that they can roam and explore, and will not be forced “on display” at any time.  Just like any human home, there is a time and place for visitors and also a time and place for rest and privacy.

In our design, our initial wolf center plans encompass wolf enclosures, a small program building or annex, and a residence for caretakers.  We have created four different designs to accommodate whatever location becomes available to us that is also suitable for the wolves.

Wolves are social animals, just like humans.  We are planning for a minimum of three ambassador wolves, and have plans to accommodate up to five initially.  We may expand to house a few more in the future.

Ultimately, we want to house as few wolves as are valuable for education.  A wolf’s real home is in the wild, not behind fences.

There is an incredible need to rescue captive wolves and wolf-dogs in this country.  Far too many people think raising a wolf  or wolf-dog is “really cool,” only to find out a few months later that it is too much for them to handle.  In Vermont, it is legal to own a wolf-dog, but like any animal, properly caring for a wolf-dog requires knowledge, time, space, and a willingness to invest in the creature’s future.  There are too many tragic stories that end with a captive wolf or wolf-dog’s death.

Initially, Wolfgard will not have the space to rescue or rehabilitate wolves or wolf-dogs.  Our main focus is education.  However, both rescuing and/or rehabilitating wild or captive canines is a valuable and important endeavor.  As we grow, we certainly won’t rule out the possibility.

In the meantime, if you are a wolf-dog owner and are looking for resources to help you properly care for your wolf-dog, Mission:Wolf has an excellent information page here.

No.  Any wolves in our wolf center will be life-long captive wolves.

Despite the lack of wolves in the Northeast, active reintroduction is not necessarily in any of our best interests.  There are a number of wolf populations to the west and north of New England that can and do disperse into our region.  As of yet, none of these dispersing wolves have established a viable population.  Because gray wolves are still endangered here, we think widespread education is one of the best steps towards creating an environment in which wolves can thrive.

There are a few excellent wolf centers and organizations in New England.  However, in Southern Vermont, there is at least a 3+ hour drive to reach any of them.  Similarly, there are almost no programs that can travel and bring live-wolf education to this region in a way that is cost-effective or good for the animals.

In order to teach the Northeast about wolves, we need wide-spread education.  Southern Vermont is a central location to reach regions where there is both viable wolf habitat and an under-served in education about wolves.

Also, Southern Vermont is a beautiful place!  It’s blend of wilderness and accessibility makes it perfect for teaching about our ecosystems and the human relationship with natural landscapes.